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Sivatmikha Rajesh hopes Sarjun KM's Burqa gives her a new dimension as a musician - Exclusive

Music composer Sivatmikha Rajesh talks about working on the tunes of her latest release Burqa, helmed by Sarjun KM

Sivatmikha Rajesh hopes Sarjun KM's Burqa gives her a new dimension as a musician - Exclusive
Sivatmikha Rajesh

Last Updated: 03.52 PM, Apr 10, 2023


Music composer Sivatmikha Rajesh's sophomore film Burqa, helmed by Sarjun KM has just released on Aha Tamil and is basking in the rave reviews from the audience. The film, which premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival, stars Kalaiyarasan and Mirnaa Menon in the lead. The plot is set against the backdrop of an Islamic ritual where two strangers meet.

In a chat with OTTplay, Sivatmikha tells us that she had to undergo a thorough research on the ritual to understand the emotions behind it. "The plot revolves around the ritual called Iddat (a period of chastity a woman has to observe after the dissolution of her marriage due to the death of her husband or a divorce). Since I didn't know much about the practice, I spoke to many women to understand their sentiments during the period. It was important to convey the emotions right on screen."

Talking about the album, Sivatmikha says," Burqa comprises two songs, Alla hu Allah and Oh Meri Khwabida. I have used instruments like oud to give the songs a Sufi touch, but at the same time, have also experimented with instruments like sitar and santoor. The male lead happens to be an atheist, so I had the space for experimentation and not stick to tunes with an Islamic touch throughout the film.

Sivatmikha was barely 19, and was one of the youngest music directors in the industry, when she made her debut with director Kutti Kumar's Antony (2018). The film, however, didn't provide the right launchpad for her. Does she regret the same? "I do not have a background in films and Antony was my entry card to the industry. We all worked hard for the film and the song Kaatrin Kaadhal was well received. I have no regrets in life. I have always felt that my mistakes or wrong moves have only led me to a better place or made me a better person. That's how we all grow, right."

Sivatmikha tells us that she does a unique experiment before a song's release to find out if it would work or not. "I make strangers listen to the song and take their feedback. In fact, I have a spreadsheet with multiple categories like age, gender, and their body language while they listened to the song. I ask them to guess the duration of the song, and the longer they quote, the less engaging the song is. Kanne Kanmaniye had got a fantastic reception from those in their late 20s and above. For Oh Meri Khwabida, I remember I went up to this store in a mall and asked if I could check the clarity of the song on one of their speakers. The moment I played it, those in the shop and the passers-by loved it. Many stopped by to give it a listen. I knew the song would work."

Amid her films, Sivatmikha also took the plunge into independent music and came up with the single, The Gaana Song. Interestingly, she got a new identity as well as the Gaana girl. However, the composer says the experience also made her go down the rabbit hole.

"Gaana girl happened accidentally and I was trolled for it. People hated the song! But, I took it as a learning experience. I want to make music that people would love. If it didn't work for them, there's no point blaming the audience. It's my job to figure out why the song didn't work. I was quite affected by the trolls and was low in spirits for a long time. "

It was the song Kanne Kanmaniye from the anthology Paava Kadhaigal, that bailed her out of the despondency. "The song got great reviews. Some people even said that they played the song everytime they missed someone in their life. I don't really care about the views for a song, but feedback like that is very crucial to me. Kanne Kanmaniye changed the perspective of the audience towards me and they believed that I could do a lot more. I hope Burqa gives me a new dimension."

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